It's not my favorite Pixar film, heck, it's not even my favorite animated film of last year, but Toy Story 3 is still a very good cartoon and a damn fine example on how to make a sequel. I still think that Toy Story 2 is the best film in the franchise, but the third one is still a movie I thoroughly recommend and a cartoon both adults and children should be able to enjoy.
18. The Fighter
As I mentioned in my review, this movie is much better than it should be, but as it stands, The Fighter is a very good movie about sports and family with many very strong performances, Christian Bale being the most impressive of the bunch. I still admire David O. Russell's ability to turn such a standard script into something special. It's not a great film, but The Fighter was surprisingly good.
17. Piranha 3-D
Yeah, I know this movie is not supposed to be here, yet Piranha 3-D was one of the most entertaining films of last year. This Jaws on crack picture is completely idiotic, very violent, funny and probably my biggest guilty pleasure of 2010. Alexandre Aja intended Piranha 3-D to be a very dumb, but entertaining B-movie, and it is just that in the best possible way. Fun times in the theatre.
16. The King's Speech
As I mentioned in my review, I had no expectations for this movie whatsoever, it looked to me like a boring film about the British royal family. I was wrong – The King's Speech is a well acted, fine film that, in the end, is kind of inspiring. Colin Firth, of course, will get his Oscar for this, although I do believe there were better performances last year. Even if this movie is Oscar-bait, it's quite good Oscar-bait and will probably be a successful one.
15. Winter's Bone
Another great independent flick, Winter's Bone is gritty, it's dark, but it's a very well done thriller that's very atmospheric and at times can be quite intense. But there's great performances here too, Jennifer Lawrence is great as Ree Dolly, a young girl looking for her father, and John Hawkes has a very powerful performance as her uncle. I'm very glad this got recognition at the Oscars.
14. How to Train Your Dragon
How can it be that my favorite animated film of the year is not made by Pixar, huh? How to Train Your Dragon was probably the biggest surprise for me last year, it's a movie that proves DreamWorks can make grate animated films that don't have anything to do with pop-cultural references of any kind. How to Train Your Dragon is a beautiful, funny and sincere movie and the bravest work by DreamWorks yet. Too bad they went and made Megamind after this...
13. Exit Through the Gift Shop
Whether everything in this weird documentary is true or the whole thing is some kind of joke, Banksy has made one entertaining and smart documentary about art, street-art and the responses to it. It's quite a funny film at times, and Thierry Guetta has to be one of the most interesting personalities in cinema last year.
12. The Town
After seeing The Town, I am confident that Ben Affleck is ready to leave Boston and make a film that's set somewhere else. Despite liking his previous directorial work, Gone Baby Gone, a little bit better, The Town is still a very good film that works both as a crime drama and a thriller. On another note, this is one of Pete Postlethwaite's last films, and he was a great actor that was never recognized quite enough.
11. Shutter Island
It's Martin Scorsese we're dealing with here. You might argue that Shutter Island is far from Scorsese at his best, and I'd have to agree with you. Still, Scorsese makes very good films even when he's not at his best, and this thriller with Leonardo DiCaprio in the starring role is such a film. It's an atmospheric, terrifying and intense, and should be seen by any fan or psychological thrillers.
10. The Other Guys
I could be considered a fan of Will Ferrell comedies, and The Other Guys is a great one. It might not be as great as Anchorman, but it's still one of the funniest films of 2010. Director Adam McKay manages to successfully create a buddy cop movie that works and will hopefully one day considered a classic of the genre.
There's no doubt that Kick-Ass is one crazy movie, but it's crazy in a very good way. Matthew Vaughn is one of the best action film directors in the business, and he proves that well with Kick-Ass - the action sequences are completely over-the top and completely genius. From wild characters like Hit-Girl to Big Daddy, Kick-Ass has to be among some of my favorite comic-book movies of all time.
8. The Social Network
It's not my favorite film of the year, but it certainly is the most important one. Combining the brilliant script by Aaron Sorkin with the directorial efforts of David Fincher, they're able to create both a great film about inventing and about one of the most influential people in the world right now. The Social Network also presents Jesse Eisenberg as a very competent dramatic actor, playing Mark Zuckerberg himself.
7. 127 Hours
Danny Boyle does it again as he manages to turn Aron Ralston's miraculous survial story in a truly energetic, beautiful and lively film about one man's will to live. There's some great editing in 127 Hours as well, as it manages to blend Ralston's presence in the canyon with beautiful shots of scenery, as well as pretty crazy dream sequences. What a fantastic film. Oh, and did I mention the great performance by James Franco? He's absolutely fantastic and deserves the Oscar.
6. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
I know Scott Pilgrim is not a movie for everyone, but I absolutely enjoyed it. Edgar Wright manages to do the impossible and adapt the comic-book into a fast-paced, energetic, and very entertaining film. Scott Pilgrim also features one of the best love stories in last year's cinema, as well as some very enjoyable over-the-top action sequences. If there's one Oscar nomination Scott Pilgrim got robbed in, it's editing. This has to be some of the most impressive editing I've seen for the past 5 years or so, I can't believe it's not nominated.
If only most big-budget films were as good as Inception. Leave it to Christopher Nolan to make a smart, twisted sci-fi action thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat for it's entire runtime. Inception has the most unique world in 2010's cinema, and so is the screenplay from the great mind of Chris Nolan. The movie's use of sound and special effects is also breathtaking, I mean, there's just no reason for you not to see Inception. In fact, chances are you've already seen it.
4. The Ghost Writer
Roman Polanksi manages to create a great thriller without the need for any actual action sequences. That's an achievement on it's own. But The Ghost Writer is a smart, very well scripted film with some nice central performaces by Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan. I guess I have a thing for old-school thrillers, so I absolutely loved this film.
3. Four Lions
From the genius mind of Chris Morris comes the funniest film of 2010 - and it's about a bunch of terrorists. Definitely one of the bravest films of the past few years, Four Lions is a unique and smart comedy that can be surprisingly serious and sad at times. I think that Four Lions and In the Loop together make a nice pair of great British comedies that have come out in the past two years, so see these films, if you yet haven't. They're awesome.
2. Black Swan
It's the best horror movie of 2010, and what a movie it is. Black Swan is Darren Aronofsky's best work featuring a stunning performance by Natalie Portman. Seriously, this is the best performance of 2010 and among the best of the last decade. Black Swan is a movie about obsession, perfectionism, a beautiful, at times horrific experience, a truly excellent picture.
1. True Grit
Quite simply, True Grit is a remarkable achievement. Even if it isn't the Coen brothers' best film, it's still a near-perfect movie, featuring three great central performances by Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. The western is not quite dead yet, and movies like True Grit prove that. A funny, at times quite sincere and sad, action packed movie – a true old-school western adventure and therefore my favorite movie of 2010.